Jin Shengtan was a 17th-century Chinese scholar and writer who once found himself stranded with a friend in a temple for 10 days because of a rainstorm. While thus secluded, the pair compiled a list of 33 of the truly happy moments in life. The resulting book was called Chin’s 33 Happy Moments. The wonderful thing about his moments is their lack of piety. Happiness is seen not as a constant state, but as an occasional surprise.
Here is Chin’s 18th happy moment:
I have long wanted to become a monk, but was worried because I would not be permitted to eat meat. If, then, I could be permitted to eat meat publicly, why, then I could heat a basin of hot water, and with the help of a sharper razor, shave my head clean in a summer month! Ah, is this not happiness?